Picks and Pans Review: Puttin' Out the Trash...
WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCATS?
Russ Meyer is a low-concept director. Asked about his first movie, 1959's soft-porn hit The Immoral Mr. Teas, Meyer, now 72, sums it up: "Three naked women, 60 minutes." Flesh has been the key to his three decades of making underground movies packed with sex and other forms of action. "I always pick a girl who's gravity-defying," explains Meyer. And thus you have the (as he puts it) "cantilevered ladies" of such trash classics as Supervixens, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and—the movie considered his masterpiece—1967's Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! It's about three chesty go-go girls on a man-destroying rampage.
Actually, despite killer cleavage, Pussycat was a flop in the '60s. But the pussycats are having their revenge this winter: the movie, in a pristine black-and-white print, has proved to be a hit on screens in L.A., with New York City and other cities to follow. Janet Jackson's latest video, "You Want This," with its images of cars circling sharklike around two men stranded in a desert, is directly inspired by Pussycat. Now Meyer finds himself a cult hero among twentysomethings. Three bands—Vixen, Mudhoney and, of course, Faster Pussycat—have been named for Meyer movies.
You can credit Pussycat's revival to its dopey-campy dialogue, the just-the-basics cinematography, the cool '60s soundtrack—the Quentin Tarantino thing. You could also argue that the movie anticipates Thelma & Louise by 24 years. "The women don't take any crap," Meyer says.
The director, who lives in Palm Desert, Calif., is currently editing two soft-porn videos, one starring a woman named Pandora Peaks. "She's probably the most voluptuous girl I've ever used," Meyer boasts.